Playwright, Staff Artist-in-Residence
San Francisco-based playwright and screenwriter, Isaiah's plays include Absolute Pure Happiness, produced by Three Wise Monkeys Theater Company in San Francisco, and The Pheasant, winner of The Little Theater of Alexandria 2007 National One-Act Competition. His films include Silent Anna, directed by Max Sokoloff, and Tests I Love to Take, directed by Ronald Chase. Isaiah is the assistant director of the San Francisco Art & Film Program, an arts education non-profit making the arts accessible to students. He is also the screenwriting mentor for the SF Art & Film’s Film Workshop. With his spare time, he contributes to the 2xHR art society and has been known to lurk in bathtubs at The Parlor, a monthly reading series, hosted by Chicago's Green Lantern.
Poet, Editor, Staff Artist-in-Residence
A translator, editor, published poet, and an Assistant Editor of the occasionally outrageous and radical City Lights Books team, Maia studied Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz and lived in Paris, France, where she studied and worked in a bookshop, and began translating her first book from French.
Journalist, Critic, Observer, Social Scientist
Artistic Director for the Creative Writing Department, and Asawa SOTA graduate (Vocal 2002), Tony has been directing CW productions since 2004. Time spent in the writing program at Bennington College and the James Joyce Summer School, University College, Dublin, culminated in a BA from New College of California in literature and experimental theater. First published abroad at age sixteen, Tony is a San Francisco Youth Arts Award recipient and received the Kennedy Center Scholastic Medal of Honor for his writing portfolio. Learn more about the World of Bravo here, here, and here, too!
Heidi Alletzhauser, a former and present SOTA parent received her PsyD from the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, where she was the recipient of the Biodyne Merit Scholarship. As a psychologist, working primarily in the areas of trauma- domestic violence, rape, and loss through homicide- Heidi also served as an adjunct professor at Wright State and Antioch University. Dr. Alletzhauser migrated from Ohio to California, raised her four children and became interested in photography; a hobby which became a passion and now her vocation. Working regularly with talent agents and acting coaches in the Bay Area, her primary work focuses on children’s portraiture and headshots. She shoots for many local companies.and her photos have earned her featured magazine editorials. Current special projects include a photo and poetry book of The Excelsior neighborhood in partnership with Poetry in Translation, and a photo book to raise awareness of issues involved in the 2013 Trayvon Martin shooting.
A poet and essayist whose books include Vigilance (Beyond Baroque, 2005), Rituals of Truce and the Other Israeli (Parrhesia Press, 2004), The Book of Who Are Was (Sun & Moon, 1997), How to Read, too (Leech Books, 1992), and, as editor, Translating Tradition: Paul Celan in France (ACTS, 1988). Mr. Hollander teaches at Chabot College in Hayward, CA.
Director, Oakland School of the Arts
Former Asawa SOTA Principal, Mr. Harris also served as guest director for the Creative Writing department playwriting performances during his final four years at Asawa SOTA. He holds an MA in Acting and Directing from Cal State Los Angeles and has directed numerous productions, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Awake and Sing, as well as many original works by student playwrights. He is now entering his second year as executive director of the Oakland School for the Arts.
Erica has brought a “Writing Through the Arts” unit to the department for more than one visiting artist session.
Artistic director of the Erika Shuch Performance Project (ESP Project), a resident performance company of Intersection for the Arts, her work incorporates movement, text, music, and imagery. The ESP Project has had residencies and staged performances at Intersection, ODC, the Magic Theatre, and at the Theater Artaud for the SF International Arts Festival. Erika received a Goldie Award from the SF Bay Guardian and also a CHIME award (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange).
Erika is a co-director and co-founder of the Experimental Performance Institute, an interdisciplinary BA, MA, and MFA program in residence at New College of California, and also teaches through Intersection’s Alternative Theater Institute and Dancers’ Group’s 2005 Summer Dance Intensive. A San Francisco Chronicle review (September 15, 2007) of her show 51802 can be found at this SF Gate link.
A recipient of a New Langton Bay Area Award Show for Literature and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, Ms. SIngleton received an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from The New College of California.
Her work has appeared in a number of publications including Chain, Fence, Five Fingers Review, Callaloo, The Breast: An Anthology (Global City Press; New York, 1994), Beyond the Frontier: African American Poets for the Millenium (Black Classics Press; MD, 2002), and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for Arts.
In 2002, she was featured guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air” hosted by Michael Krasny. She has taught poetry in the San Francisco Unified School District and at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.
A visual artist whose practice explores contexts of space, light, materiality and history, Amy's projects and collaborations with poets, architects, and composers include permanent and temporary public artworks: Groundwork, for a San Jose, CA library and The Atrium Project at Children’s Hospital-Oakland. The Natural History of Market Street was commissioned by Art in Transit of the San Francisco Art Commission and Illuminance was installed for the inauguration of Pixar’s Emeryville campus. She is currently designing artwork for the BART extension between Oakland and San Jose. Visual Design for Theater has been performed at venues including The Magic Theater, ODC, the LAB, Intersection for the Arts, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Trachtenberg’s work is exhibited and collected nationally and internationally and represented by Brian Gross Fine Art.
She received a BA in French and Liberal Studies from California State University-Sonoma and the Diplôme d’Art Plastique from L’école Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She lives and works in San Francisco. Her website: www.amytrachtenberg.com
Saxophonist, Asawa SOTA alumnus
A jazz musician who first found his talents nurtured, to quote his website, “in the most nurturing of all environments for young African American musicians: the church.”
Mr. Wiley has recorded and performed with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Lauryn Hill, and Lavay Smith, and many others. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades from the Thelonious Monk Institute, MVP honors for the Grammy All-American Jazz Band and the Berklee College of Music Scholarship Award.
At the age of 15, Wiley released his first CD as a leader, signaling the arrival of the San Francisco Bay Area’s newest diamond in the rough. In 2007 he released his third album, The Angola Project, comprising ensemble pieces inspired by 1950s recordings from Angola State Prison. According to jazz critic Daniel King of the San Francisco Chronicle, “What makes Wiley’s album a great artifact (and great listen) is his textural range, his less-is-more compositional approach, and his patience as a soloist.”
An Asawa SOTA graduate. Wiley enjoyed returning to his alma mater to teach a Creative Writing unit on "Writing Through Music". www.howardwiley.com.
Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist living in Oakland, CA. She is disabled due to U.S military pollution, a legacy that has affected all aspects of her work. Her artworks have been exhibited at venues across the country, including the CUE Art Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Berkeley Art Museum. She is the recipient of a Sacatar Foundation Fellowship, winner of VSA’s Driving Force award, an Eisner Award, a Wynn Newhouse Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), and an Animals and Culture Grant (2010). She has been nominated for numerous awards including a McColl Center residency and a Dedalus Foundation Award. Her published work includes The Right Not to Work: Disability and Capitalism (Monthly Review, 2004), Military Waste In Our Drinking Water (With Astra Taylor, 2006- nominated for a Project Censored Award 2007) and Is It Possible to Be a Conscientious Meat Eater?(Alternet, February 18th, 2009 with Alexander Taylor). Taylor has forthcoming articles in Triple Canopy and Qui Parle (both 2010). She recently worked with philosopher Judith Butler, on Astra Taylor’s film Examined Life (Zeitgeist 2008). Taylor is also an artist contributor to Rebecca Solnit’s newest book, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Art Practice with her MFA in May, 2008. Her work can be viewed at www.sunaurataylor.org.
Thomas McBee is the 2009 recipient of the Mary Tanenbaum Literary Award for Nonfiction from The San Francisco Foundation, and was a 2010 fellow at Intersection for the Art’s Intergenerational Writers’ Lab. Page has been published most recently in Big Bell and the anthology, Baby, Remember My Name, and has recently been a guest blogger exploring representations of the body for Bitch magazine. Page was selected to attend RADAR Production’s writers’ retreat, RADAR Lab, in 2009. Page holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, and a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. For more information and to read more work, visit www.pagemcbee.com.
Ali Liebegott is the author of the award-winning books The Beautifully Worthless and The IHOP Papers. In 2010 she took a train trip across America interviewing female poets for a project titled, The Heart Has Many Doors; excerpts from these interviews are posted monthly on The Believer Logger. Along with a reprint of her road classic The Beautifully Worthless, her newest novel Cha-Ching! is the latest release from City Lights/Sister Spit. In addition, she is the founding editor at Writers Among Artists whose publications include Faggot Dinosaur andVincent Van Go-Gogh.
Beth Grossman is a socio-political artist, who sees the visual as a way to create community dialog. Her art is a comfortable point of entry into the ongoing dialog about ‘correct’ history, the life-shaping force of religion and the power of social beliefs. The artist takes creative liberty with these charged topics and makes them accessible with beauty and humor. By shifting the context of familiar objects, words and images, she opens them up for fresh examinations that are by turn playful, stimulating and thought provoking
Grossman’s search for simple truths in collective memory has led her to illuminate personal stories. For her, art is not a thing, but a way to communicate. It is the importance of that dialogue that her artworks, public projects and events are intended to foster.
Based in San Francisco, Grossman has collaborated internationally with individuals, communities, corporations, non-profits and museums. She uses art as a creative force to stimulate conversation and focus attention on the environment, history and civic engagement – all aimed at raising awareness, building community and encouraging public participation.
Carol Le Maitre discovered the world of new music and performance art after touring and performing a dance company for 8 years, starting at the age of 16, and has never looked back.
LeMaitre has collaborated with numerous cutting edge musicians and theater artists, developing a style that is has been described as ritualistic and stunningly expressive as well as witty and entertaining. By abstracting pedestrian movement and working primarily with non-dancers LeMaitre is able to create work that is accessible to a wide audience and often wickedly funny.
A teacher of mindfulness and meditation, Ms. Salzman works with kids, teens, and families. She has been deeply inspired by her work in the Teen and Family Program at Spirit Rock and her studies in dance expressive arts therapy at the Tamalpa Institute. As a practitioner, Daniella is influenced by her teachers in the Buddhist, Jewish, and non-dual lineages. As a teacher, Daniella brings creative expression, communication, and meditation techniques to students to develop attention and awareness.
Writer, Performer, Arts Organizer
From the San Francisco Bay Area, Beth's books include the New York Times bestselling comic memoir Everybody Into the Pool and the gonzo self-help manifesto Helping Me Help Myself. Lisick has toured the U.S. and Europe as a solo spoken word performer, front person for the band the Beth Lisick Ordeal, and member of the groundbreaking female roadshow Sister Spit. Her other projects include comedic performance for the stage and screen with Tara Jepsen, curating the monthly Porchlight Storytelling Series with Arline Klatte, and teaching creative writing to young adults. She recently played the female lead in Frazer Bradshaw’s award-winning feature film Everything Strange and New. http://bethlisick.com/
A poet whose most recent work includes two editorial projects--Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children (Black Radish Books, 2013) and Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community (co-edited with Jennifer Firestone, Saturnalia Books, 2008). Dana is the author of several books of poems including Disclosure (Black Radish Books, 2011), Unpublishable Manuscript #43 (UbuWeb Editions, 2010), and Curren¢y (Palm Press, 2006).
Supported by the California Arts Council, the Peninsula Community Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Fund, the Marin Arts Council, and others, her work has received the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson prize for poetry, among other awards and has most recently appeared in Jacket, Poets & Writers, The Bay Poetics Anthology, Imaginary Syllabi, and Against Expression (Northwestern University Press, 2011).
She served as the Director of Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center in San Francisco and is currently working on a book of poems entitled Shhh! Lullabies for a Tired Nation. Dana teaches writing at San Francisco State University and Marin Juvenile Hall. She lives in San Quentin with her incredible family. http://www.pw.org/content/dana_teen_lomax
Bobak Bakhtiari, descendant of the nomadic Bakhtiari tribe (People Of The Wind, Grass), and a rustic cherub in human form, used to be known as The Man of A Thousand Faces throughout small towns in western Ireland. Fairly new to TV and Film, he has already shown an eclectic range of character work, from Kingpin Israeli Spy in the show Homeland to socially maladjusted CEO on Mike Judge's Silicon Valley. Regional stage credits have earned him Critics Circle Nominations, and free popcorn sometimes.
Victor Cartagena, a Salvadoran born artist based in San Francisco, creates in a variety of media: printmaking, painting, drawing and mixed media on canvas and paper, installation and set-design. As a member of Tamoanchán, a collective of Latin American printmakers, Cartagena studied and worked at Berkeley’s distinguished KALA Art Institute from 1990-1996, sponsored by the California Arts Council. Cartagena has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in the US and internationally. His many grants and awards include a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation 2001 Visual Arts Purchase Award, the competitive Art Council award in the year 2000, and 1996 and 2000 Pacific Prints Awards. Cartagena’s work is in numerous private and institutional collections, including the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum in Honolulu, and the Oxbow School of Art in Napa, CA. Cartagena is represented by Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, CA and TinT Gallery in Thessaloniki, Greece. Take a peek at his website here to learn more.